A visit to Morocco’s cultural capital can be overwhelming to plan, especially for first-time visitors. After Casablanca, Fes Morocco is the second largest city with nearly 1.5 million residents and an estimated 9,500 streets winding in and around the old medina. This vibrant city, located in the Boulemane Region of Morocco, has a beautiful mix of French and Moroccan influences.
Using our guide to the best neighborhoods in Fes, we can help you find the best part of Fes to stay in, whether you are looking for budget accommodations or a luxury splurge on a traditional Moroccan Riad. Are you ready to plan your weekend in Fes?
We will cover off all types of Fes accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Fes hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Fes, the best Fes hotels, best places in Fes to visit, the best places to stay in Fes, hotels near Fes attractions, Fes neighborhood guide and many more.
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Fes El-Bali (Old Fes) – Where to stay in Fes for everyone
Old Fes is the city’s historical center, where the medina is located. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the largest car-free urban area in the world and the best area for tourists who want to experience the chaos of a Moroccan medina.
If you plan to stay in a riad in Fes, there are many in Fes El-Bali, from budget-friendly to family-friendly, with luxury options as well. Some of the best attractions in the medina start at the Blue Gate or Bab Boujeloud. Within the thousands of winding streets and alleyways, you’ll find mosques, tanneries and of course hundreds of shops selling everything you can possibly imagine.
While non-Muslims are not allowed inside the mosques, there are a couple of medersas that you can visit for a taste of the local architecture. It’s worth noting that many cafes and souks here are closed on Fridays, so that’s a good day to plan your day trips or visit a local hammam.
Best places to stay in Fes El-Bali
Fes El Jdid (New Fes) – Where to stay in Fes for tourists
Just beyond the Blue Gate of Fes El-Bali is “New Fes,” or Fel El Jdid. Remember, it’s only new compared to Old Fes, so it’s a few hundred years old as opposed to thousands of years old. In other words, there is still al of history in Fes El Jdid but it is not nearly as busy as Fel El Bali.
This area contains the Jewish Quarter and the Jnan Sbil gardens, a lovely quiet place to spend an afternoon. The Batha Museum is located here, in a former royal palace. The location of Fes El Jdid between Fes El-Bali and Ville Nouvelle means you can conveniently experience the best of both worlds in Fes, with easy access to the historic and modern parts of the city.
Best places to stay in Fes El Jdid
Ville Nouvelle – Where to stay in Fes for nightlife
Ville Nouvelle, or the new city, was built by the French in the early 20th century and is the most modern area of Fes. If you prefer more modern Fes hotels than the riads of the medina, then this is a good place for you to stay. You can easily take a taxi to the medina for the day, and relax in modern comfort at night, with a wider variety of cuisines and shopping, plus the aforementioned modern hotels.
For shopping, the modern, air-conditioned Borj Fez mall opened in 2013 and offers global brands. If you are looking for nightlife in Fes, there are a few clubs to be found in Ville Nouvelle.
Best places to stay in Ville Nouvelle
Meknes – Where to stay near Fes
If you really want to get off the beaten path and perhaps just visit Fes on a day trip, consider staying in Meknes, about one hour outside of Fes. Meknes was once the capital city in the 17th century, so there is a lot of history to explore without the chaos of Fes. There are several mosques that non-Muslims will have to admire from afar, but Bou Inania Madrasa is open to everyone.
Like other Moroccan cities, the old part of Meknes is a walled city with elaborate gates enclosing the medina. Bab Mansour is one of the most elaborate and beautiful gates in all of Morocco, and Bab el Khemis is another great example. When you want to take a day trip to Fes, there is a train and private taxis are an affordable option.
Best places to stay in Meknes
Affordable Luxury Hotels in Meknes
Zaki Suites Hotel & Spa